June 19, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Venice Shorts: Landlord Speaks on Crime, Homelessness and Quality of Life in the Community

A Native of Down Under, Peter Nott Offers His Take and Insight on the State of the Neighborhood of Venice

By Nick Antonicello

Born and raised in Sydney, Peter Nott is a self-made entrepreneur who came to the United States 47 years ago after working for Price Waterhouse.

Nott attended high school in his native Australia and was a small aircraft pilot with an air taxi company located in Van Nuys.

When arriving in California he began investing in real estate here in Venice and currently is the owner of some twenty or so income producing parcels.  

Self-employed for the past 40 years purchasing and renovating uninhabitable, run-down buildings in Venice and participating in neighborhood community clean-up, Nott currently owns roughly twenty small apartment buildings mostly in the Oakwood area and has been frustrated by the level of crime and homelessness that sometimes effects his ability to rent or lease these units.

Below is our interview:  

  • Are you a resident of Venice or just a property owner?

Both. 

  • It was announced that one of the women attacked in the Venice Canals was declared brain dead. Does Venice have the appropriate law enforcement presence? Should the police sub station at Venice Beach be fully operational, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

We need more police presence but that is not the final solution. When the police arrest someone they need to be kept locked up and not released. 

  • Generally speaking, do your tenants complain of being unsafe and thus move based on that premise?

Very much so. 

  • Are the properties you own market rate, or Section 8? Or a mixture of both?

Some are market rate, a few rent-controlled below market rate, and no Section 8 housing.

  • How many properties do you currently own in Venice?

Nineteen.  

  • What is your general impression of Venice today? Are things getting better, worse, regarding homelessness and the RV crisis?

Venice could be a lovely place. However, they clean it up but then let another wave of transients come and pitch tents and park RVs without promptly removing them.

  • Do you have specific homeless encampments on or near your rental properties?

No way. Homeless have no income due to being drug & alcohol addicted and thus live by stealing. Any homeless encampment or shelter destroys the surrounding neighborhood.

  • What are the issues facing your tenants? What do they complain about the most?

Car break-ins, stolen bicycles, and stolen packages off porches. Unconscious individuals lying in a pool of vomit and urine in the laundry room, including noise and fighting, sometimes violent attacks and public defecation resulting in sewage and trash dumped on the street. Vehicles not moved on street sweeping days and not getting ticketed or towed.

  • Are you having trouble keeping and retaining tenants?

Yes. 

  • Do you have a gang issue or is most of the crimes being committed by the unhoused? Give us some examples of the crimes committed?

Mostly crime committed by the unhoused and drug dealers. The crimes committed are those described above. 

  • Do you retain the services of a private security firm to ensure your properties and tenants are safe?

No, as we are already paying lots of taxes to the city for the police and justice system to keep us safe. This is a modern American city that should be safe without individuals having to hire personal protection. 

  • What would you do to change Venice and correct the current conditions?

Put a lot of pressure on city officials to the point of threatening or firing them or recalling elected officials to do their jobs and get rid of the criminals. The homeless are the main problem now but officials are mainly pandering to them and spending billions on ridiculously overpriced accommodations that only house a few but then attract many more than can be accommodated. This ends up with more than ever on the streets. I think a major cause of homelessness is drug addiction and it would be very easy to catch these drug dealers so then there would be no more supply of drugs.

  • What is your relationship with city officials, LAPD, and have they been responsive and cooperative?

City officials and LAPD always come up with some kind of excuse as to why they can’t fix the problem. 

  • What is your impression of LA Mayor Karen Bass &  Councilwoman Traci Park (CD-11)? Generally speaking, are they addressing the core issues of homelessness and crime?

Traci Park is doing way more than her predecessor and has had a lot of success. However both her and Karen Bass are only using very expensive and ineffective band aids to fix the problem and it is not working. They need to get stricter with moving the encampments out of town to official campgrounds away from residences and businesses then force campers to only camp in these designated locations.

  • You stepped forward and wanted to be heard. Any points or issues you might want to address that we didn’t cover?

Most homeless people have made a conscious decision to try dangerous drugs. This makes them feel good or high and get addicted. Sensible people do not try drugs. Having made a decision to become a drug addict, these people need tough love i.e. moved out of town and shown they are not welcome here and be directed to official campgrounds where they can have quonset type buildings that our military live in, with toilets, showers and counseling – – but not be allowed to camp in town. Thank you for your involvement in this issue and I hope we can work together to make Venice a safe place for residents, businesses and tourists.

Nick Antonicello is a thirty-one year resident of the Venice community that covers the current encampment and RV crisis in the neighborhood. Have an encampment issue on your block or street? You can contact the author via e-mail at nantoni@mindspring.com.

in Hard, News
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